San Antonio TX Premises Liability Attorney
If you are injured while on someone else’s property, a knowledgeable and experienced premises liability attorney in San Antonio could assist you in determining whether you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages under the theory of premises liability. Contact Brylak Law today.
What Is Premises Liability?
Generally, owners, anyone who controls the property (e.g. tenant), or any employee (collectively referred to as “defendant”) have an obligation to maintain a reasonably safe condition on a residential, commercial, or industrial property. If an unsafe, defective or dangerous condition exists, the defendant must remedy the condition or provide adequate warnings. Accidents caused by these conditions are “premises liability” accidents.
What Elements Do You Need to Prove in a Premises Liability Case?
To succeed in a premises liability action, a premises liability attorney in San Antonio must first determine your legal status on the premises:
- Trespasser: entering property without legal authority. The lowest standard, the defendant’s duty is to only avoid causing you injury by intentional or willful conduct.
- Licensee: entering property with the defendant’s permission but not by invitation. The defendant’s duty is to not cause you injury by willful or wanton conduct or by gross negligence. The defendant must warn you of hidden dangers that they are aware of. The defendant must have actual knowledge of the danger.
- Invitee: entering a business open to the public. The highest standard, the defendant must use ordinary care to make the premises reasonably safe for your use. The defendant does not need actual knowledge of the dangerous condition, so long as a reasonable person would have knowledge of the condition.
Then, you must show:
- The defendant owned, leased, occupied or had control over the property;
- An unsafe or dangerous condition exists on the property;
- The defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition;
- The defendant did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk;
- You suffered harm; and,
- The defendant’s conduct or lack thereof caused your harm.
Children Entering Property
The expectation for property owners is also different when it comes to children who enter the land. The law holds them to a higher standard of care.
Children are not expected to understand danger on a property in the same way that an adult would. Thus, when a property owner can expect children to be on a property, even if illegally, the property owner has a higher duty of care. They should ensure a child will not suffer harm on that land. While a court would judge a property owner based on rules of negligence, it would not assess a child according to the standards of a trespasser. Instead, a child would be assessed according to their age and ability to understand risks on property.
One of the key issues that property owners should understand regarding children on their land is the law of attractive nuisances. An attractive nuisance is something that might entice a child to enter onto property. A child may not understand that the property is hazardous due to their age and level of comprehension. Landowners are expected to get rid of an attractive nuisance when possible, When it is not possible, they should put up doors, locks, fences, and other barriers to the danger.
Independent Contractors on a Property
Another type of person you might have on your property is an independent contractor. You are not the person’s employer, but they may be doing work for you. According to Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the owner of a property is not liable for death or injuries to a contractor unless:
- The owner of the property controls the work performed, such as work times and inspections; and
- The owner of the property knew about the danger and didn’t warn the contractor.
Thus, if you have someone on your property mowing your lawn and they trip in an unknown hole in your yard and are injured, then you may not be liable. However, if you knew about the danger, then you may be liable. You should consult a San Antonio TX premises liability attorney to determine your liability.
Other Third Parties on Property
In general, Texas law states that you have “no legal duty to protect another from the criminal acts of a third person or control the conduct of another.” This means that when you have no control over a situation, you have no duty to intervene. This applies to property as well. However, there are exceptions. If there is a special relationship, such as an employer and employee, parent and child, or independent contractor and contractee, then you may be considered to have some degree of control.
The court will consider the following:
- Likelihood of injury
If you, as an employer, sent an employee into a risky situation and should have foreseen that likelihood of injury, then you may be liable for their injuries.
If you were injured on someone else’s property, then you should contact a San Antonio TX premises liability attorney to determine if someone else is liable for your injuries. Your attorney can evaluate the elements of liability and help you assess your ability to recover compensation.
Premises Liability Claims Against the Government
Property damage, injuries, and deaths that occur on a property can be the cause of the government. If the state of Texas damages a property and someone is hurt, then they may be liable. Situations where Texas may be liable for property claims may include:
- A motor vehicle owned or maintained by the government causes injury or death;
- An employee of the state of Texas causes injury or death while on the job; or
- The government would be liable if it were a private person,
In sum, the Texas government owes the same duty of care as a private individual. Thus, if they or an employee act negligently, and that negligence causes an injury or death, then the government may be legally liable to those who were harmed.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
A premises liability attorney in San Antonio can help you with several different types of premises liability accidents:
- Slip or trip and fall accidents
- Falling objects
- Dog bites
- Toxins (e.g. lead, asbestos, mercury)
- Assault and battery
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Escalator or elevator injuries
- Porch or star collapse
- Swimming pool injuries
Obtaining Compensation in a Premises Liability Case
A San Antonio TX premises liability attorney can help you recover compensation in a premises liability claim. If you were suffered injury on someone else’s property or due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
If your loved one died on someone else’s property, then you may be able to recover compensation as well. That would help you cover funeral and burial costs as well as other losses associated with your loved one’s death.